When we read the accounts of Jesus’ healings, we tend to focus on the physical healing. In fact we do that today, for the most part. Yet it is an interesting exercise to see how Jesus ministered to the whole person in His years of ministry on earth.
The first thing Jesus dealt with in the paralysed man who was lowered to Him by his friends was his spiritual state. He saw his need for forgiveness. We don’t know what he had done, but Jesus perceived it and assured him that God forgave him. The he went on to heal him physically.
I wonder how long it had been since the leper who fell at Jesus’ feet had felt a human touch? Certainly, since he’d contracted his disease, the only touch he would have experienced would have been from other lepers. It would have done nothing for his sense of worth. It’s hard for us to imagine the ignominy and humiliation of having to proclaim wherever you went, “I’m unclean.” and to have people shun you. Jesus dealt with his low self-esteem, brought out in the statement, “Please heal me, if you want to” by responding “Of course I want to!” Then He went on to let him experience a human touch. And I’m sure it wasn’t a light tap on the shoulder. Having ministered to the inner man, He then healed him physically.
The woman who was hemorrhaging was unclean. Anyone who touched her would have been made unclean, but at great risk of incurring wrath had she been discovered she pushed through the crowd, touching people as she went. Then, to her horror and trembling with fear, she had to admit to everyone that she had touched Jesus. He dealt with her shame as well as her physical problem by calling her “Daughter” and commending her for her faith.
Jesus recognized that physical healing is only a part of the picture as He healed the ten lepers. Though they had all been healed physically, only the one who had a heart change that compelled him to run back and worship Jesus, He declared to be ‘well’.
The point of this exercise is to see that there is an interaction between body, mind and spirit and Jesus knows that. Sometimes we hear of someone who is physically healed, but later the affliction returns. I wonder if that is not because their spirits and souls do not receive the same healing and that deficiency affects their bodies down the line.
And when you come to think of it, which is the greater? All bodily healing will eventually fail. We’ll all die; but healing of the heart can carry us right on to eternity.
Next post we’ll see how Scripture confirms what the medical profession is only discovering now.
Meantime, be blessed as you turn your thoughts on Jesus, who is concerned about every part of you. He knows when you sit and when you rise; He perceives your thoughts — even your anxious ones — from afar; He’s familiar with all your ways, just as you get to know the ways of those you love dearly and He hems you in, guarding you from harm behind and before. Stay secure in Him.